Moving into your first apartment can be as equally frightening as it is exciting. You’ve saved up and carefully picked an apartment complex not too far from your family or school with affordable rent. While you may feel prepared, there are certain things that many first-time renters overlook until the last minute.
Keep in mind these few factors when you’re moving into your first apartment.
Choose Your Floor Wisely
Sometimes, apartments will simply put you in the first available unit. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move into their first pick, however. Be sure to ask to see other available units on the property. Some people like being on the top floor to avoid noisy upstairs neighbors, but you should also avoid becoming the noisy upstairs neighbor. If you have large pets that like to run and jump around, the top floor may not be the best option. This is equally true for families with elderly roommates or children who will have to travel up and down stairs, especially when first moving furniture inside.
Moving Services and Storage
Before moving, decide whether or not you need moving services to transport your stuff. It is usually more cost-effective to ask friends or family members with trucks or trailers to help you move in. Depending on how far you’re driving, a moving service can be expensive. If you have no one to help you move in, however, get some quotes from local movers to see how cheaply you can move your things.
Also consider the size of your apartment. If you’re moving into a smaller space than you’re used to, you may need additional storage for your large belongings.
Most apartment complexes have certain rules and restrictions when it comes to pets. This includes the number of pets (usually capped at one or two), breed of dogs, type of animal and weight of animal. Some apartments don’t have weight limits, but still have limits on the breed of dog you can have. If you have a pet or plan on adopting one, make sure to double check your apartment’s rule-book. Many apartments ban dog breeds that are considered “aggressive,” such as pit bulls, German Shepherds and huskies.
A lot of renters make the mistake of assuming that their rent includes everything, from water to electricity. This is unfortunately not true. The price you are quoted for rent is usually not the same as what you will pay each month.
Most apartment complexes charge separately for water, electricity and internet. Ask the apartment agent to provide a list of actual expenses. Also note that there are some optional additional expenses, such as covered parking. If you have an expensive vehicle, you may want to pay extra for covered parking.
Keep in mind that you will likely have to pay your deposit and first month of payment before or on the day you’re scheduled to move in, whether you physically move in that day or not. Make sure you have enough savings to cover the initial fees, as you’re essentially paying for the month as well as your deposit and other expenses.
If you have a pet, you’ll also likely have to pay a pet deposit, pet rent and a pet fee. A pet deposit is generally somewhere between $100 to $200 per pet. Sometimes the pet deposit and pet fee will be combined, but pet rent is separate. Pet rent is how much you will pay a month to keep your pets in your apartment.
Set Up Your Utilities
Not everything will automatically turn on the moment you move in. You’ll likely have to call the apartment complex’s water and internet provider in order to set up your utilities. It’s recommended you do this a few days before you move in so that any problems that arise can be solved by the move in date.
Take a Trip Around the Neighborhood
Not only should you research the area you’re moving to before moving in, but physically drive or walk around the area. This can help you identify perks (such as nearby parks or schools) and maybe not-so-great aspects (littering neighbors, etc.)
Buy New Furniture
You may need new furniture before moving in. A lot of new renters either don’t have furniture of their own (such as if they were living at home) or their furniture will no longer fit in their new apartment. Shop around for affordable furniture to fill your new apartment.
If you’re moving into an apartment, the chances are that you’re required to have renters insurance by the time you move in. Renters insurance protects you and your belongings in case of an accident or natural disaster, so make sure you have the right coverage.
Also Read: 5 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Rental Agreement
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